Monday, October 1, 2018
A bat collected from a Pleasantville residence on September 26 has tested positive for rabies according to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health. This is just the third case of rabies reported in the county ths year.
The N. Main Street homeowner reported a live bat in the home which was collected by local animal control and sent to the state lab for testing where it was confirmed positive on September 28. The homeowner was advised to consult a physician about post exposure rabies treatment.
An investigation by the Division of Public Health also identified three cats in the home with incomplete vaccination records. It was recommended they be placed under a four-month informal confinement. Atlantic County’s previous two rabies cases involved raccoons, one in Northfield and another in Egg Harbor Township. In 2017, rabies was confirmed in a raccoon, a cat, a skunk, and a fox.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Pet owners are advised to protect their pets with a rabies vaccination.
“This is another example of the importance of rabies vaccinations for our pets,” stated Patricia Diamond, Public Health Officer. “We encourage our residents to take advantage of the free rabies vaccination clinics at the Atlantic County Animal Shelter.”
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats once a month at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. The next clinic will be held on Sunday, October 7, 9-11 AM. Dogs must be brought on leashes and cats in carriers. For more information call (609) 485-2345 or visit www.aclink.org/animalshelter.
Dogs and cats who receive an initial rabies vaccination are not considered immunized until 28 days after the vaccine has been administered, therefore it is strongly recommended that any animal newly vaccinated or those too young to receive the vaccine (less than three months) not be left outdoors unattended. Situations have arisen where pet owners have left unvaccinated or newly vaccinated pets outdoors where they have sustained exposures to known or suspect rabid animals, resulting in euthanasia or four to six months strict confinement.
Public health officials also advise residents to teach your children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals. Never feed or touch wild animals or try to keep them as pets.
If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention. Report all animal bites to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 609-645-5971.
For more information about rabies control and precautions to protect your family and your pets, please visit the county web site at www.aclink.org/publichealth or call 609-645-5971.